Been a while since I visited. My current office box
is running great based upon a lot of feedback from here.
I'm preparing to build a MythTV box (combined backend/frontend). The motherboard will have on-board video with HDMI (1.3) output as well as on-board audio and networking. I already own an Hauppauge HVR-1250 capture card, which I'll use to record programs over-the-air (North America/Antenna/ATSC). Of course, I'll watch DVDs and DVD ISO images.
I expect to use the same PC to watch some TV online --- with a web browser --- unless there is a better way to watch streaming videos from sites such as hulu.com.
I'm not interested in games, xbox, ps3, etc. Blue-Ray support is a future expansion project rather than an immediate need, although I am leaning toward buying an HD TV with 24p support.
I'm not a videophile or home theater enthusiast by any means, but I would like this build project to be enjoyable.
Other than typical "punch list" expectations, is there anything peculiar I should know about integrating an HD TV with a Linux-based PC? The TV will be 1080p, have multiple HDMI ports, a USB port, and likely 24p support. Although many TVs now provide a PC/VGA port, I'll be using HDMI.
Netbooks are quiet, small, and consume less energy. Is a netbook an option? My reading indicates netbooks lack the muscle to run high definition videos. Even if a netbook has HDMI output, seems there is no easy way to interface remotely with the device from the couch.
What is a good audio solution? The TV will have built-in speakers and the PC motherboard will have on-board audio output. I prefer to use the TV for audio output as that appliance is always on regardless of watching TV over-the-air or video from the PC. Can I pass the audio from the PC to the TV? Or am I stuck buying a sound system? I'm not an audiophile --- using the PC as a juke box or stereo is not important to me, nor is a theater surround sound effect. I'm accustomed to a tiny tin-can speaker on my old CRT TV --- comparatively I expect any new HD TV to sound great.
The HDMI standard includes both video and audio. Does a PC motherboard HDMI output contain audio or must I use the separate on-board audio output? That would be a convenient way to pass audio to the TV.
Will I be able to use the TV's remote control with my PC or will I have to buy a separate universal remote control? The TVs I have in mind are a 32LG70 and 37LG50. The spec sheets say the remote is universal. Using only one remote control would be nice but I can live with two. HDMI-CEC supports using one remote control, but I don't think MythTV supports the spec. I have an A415-HPG remote control that came with my HVR-1250 capture card, but remote control drivers have been promised "real soon now" for too long and I have little hope of ever seeing remote control driver support for this capture card. I guess the real question then is what is the best remote control approach?
As I plan to watch some TV online through a web browser, are there any slick infra-red mice that do not need a flat surface? I'll keep a standard mouse and keyboard available for PC maintenance work, but as far as just watching TV through a web browser, I prefer a couch-potato approach. That is, I dislike the idea of watching streamed TV with a keyboard and traditional mouse. Can I operate a web browser with a typical remote control device? If I understand correctly, the remote control is seen by the kernel as just another input device. Yet mapping the remote control to act as a keyboard is not quite the same as acting like a mouse, which is easier to use with a web browser. I also would prefer to operate Xine or Kaffeine with a remote control.
I'll likely install MythTV in a Slackware environment as Slackware is where I am comfortable. I was thinking of running MythTV in one virtual desktop and for the online TV streaming, run a web browser in another virtual desktop. Is this a good plan or is there a better approach?
As always, thanks.